VALDEZ, Alaska – Early season halibut fishing will get a boost mid June as anglers converge on Valdez in hopes of being the angler to catch the largest halibut June 12th through 21st in the Halibut Hullabaloo. Organizers of the Valdez Fish Derbies are offering a prize of $1,000 and say they started the tournament a few years ago to promote halibut fishing before the silver salmon hit the Port. One of the committee members suggested making a big hullabaloo about Halibut and the tournament was born. There is no fee to fish in the Halibut Hullabaloo Tournament. Anglers will just need a valid Valdez Fish Derbies ticket for the day(s) they fish. A daily halibut derby ticket is $10 and a season ticket for the halibut derby is $50.
Each year, the City of Valdez hosts military from all over the state for a Military Appreciation weekend. This year, 81 service men from Alaska were taken out on halibut charters and the entire community is treated to barbeques and pancake breakfasts. Sandy Moore-Livesay organizes the event for the City and said the Charter Captains in Valdez are always eager to donate a charter and volunteer for this event.
At the end of Week 2 in the Halibut Derby, Josh Hughes is still the overall leader with the 123.6 pound halibut he caught May 27th aboard the Jamie Lynn. Coleton Parker of Fox, Alaska is currently 2nd with the 117.0 pound halibut he caught June 5th aboard the Halibut Grove and Josh Kramer of Fredricksburg, Texas is holding onto 3rd place with the 116.0 pound halibut he caught May 25rd aboard the Jamie Lynn. Parker is the 1st place weekly winner of the halibut derby week number 2 and Emma Brown of Wasilla won the 2nd place weekly prize.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports halibut fishing was a little spotty inside the Sound this past week. Ocean entrances continue to be great places to catch halibut. Rockfish angling has been quite productive with small jigs near rocky reefs. Shrimping continues to be productive, but ADF&G reports it is generally better the farther you get away from ports and suggests anglers start moving pots out a little deeper as the summer moves on.
Valdez Fish Derbies tickets are available at the weigh-in shack down by the harbor and at various locations throughout town.